Women who breastfeed have a reduced risk of developing diabetes, a new study reports. In mouse models, lactation improved glucose tolerance and increased beta-cell mass three weeks post-delivery. Prolactin produced as a result of lactation induced serotonin production of beta cells. Findings suggest serotonin mediates the long-term beneficial effects of lactation of female metabolic health by increasing beta-cell proliferation and reducing oxidative stress in beta-cells.
During lactation, the cell voltage of TIDA neurons in the hypothalamus oscillates more frequently, increasing firing. The change is reversible and returns to normal once the mother stops lactating.
Researchers report the hormone prolactin, more commonly associated with lactation in new mothers, may underlie why women are more vulnerable to developing functional pain syndromes than men.
Genomic analysis reveals some of the neurogenomic dynamics closely resemble changes associated with pregnancy and reproduction in mammalian mothers.